Coming to Wikimania Stockholm? Sign up for Learning Days!

How do we make knowledge creation truly participatory for every community on our planet? The Wikimedia movement has been growing steadily, with more volunteers joining, and new affiliate groups created every year. Affiliates represent our movement at the local level and are charged with organizing activities and events to get people and organizations involved in the creation of the sum of all knowledge. In the years between 2014 and 2019, Wikimedia movement affiliates tripled: we went from having 50 affiliates to 151 (and we keep growing!). It grew more in this last five years than it did in its first 11 years of existence.

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File:WmCon2018_LearningDays_26.jpg () by AWang (WMF), CC-BY-SA-4.0.
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How do we ensure that this growth is sustainable? In 2013, we started the Wikimedia Learning and Evaluation initiative to build a culture of accountability and learning within the movement. After 5 years implementing Learning Days, we are now also offering a new, evolved curriculum: Training of Trainers, in-person training that incorporates our communities’ higher levels of experience. The next opportunity to receive this training will be at Wikimania Stockholm, on August 14 and 15. Learn more and sign up!

Piloting structured training: Learning Days

We at the Wikimedia Foundation had observed for several years how communities took on to adapting initiatives that were successful in different parts of the world. A good example of this is the program Wikipedian in Residence. In 2010, Wikipedian Lyam Wyattsuggested this role at the closing speech of GLAM-Wiki congress: a person that would be in charge of training the staff group in a museum, archive, library, or gallery (GLAM) on how to use the Wikimedia projects to promote their collection or archive. The idea of this program was so attractive that several Wikimedia communities replicated the model, and today, there are more than 125 Wikipedians in Residence all over the world.

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File:Wikimedia_Conference_2018_–_017.jpg () by Jason Krüger for Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., CC-BY-SA-4.0.
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While replication has always played a big role in our collective learning as a movement, it wasn’t sustainable or necessarily yielding the desired results for local communities. This is why in 2013, we started the program Learning Days, with this foundational question: are your activities and events helping you reach your goals? These two days of professional training included workshops on program design and evaluation, how to create a theory of change and logic models, how to measure success, and how to do storytelling for engagement, among other topics. In the course of 6 years, through 11 implementations of Learning Days, and with other learning resources developed, we have seen affiliates’ proposals and reports improve significantly in terms of setting clear program goals and targets and then executing and measuring the impact of those goals.

Throughout this journey, we identified some Wikimedia communities had more advanced learning than others, and we incorporated this knowledge as part of the curriculum: in the last iteration of Learning Days, half of the sessions were facilitated by community members. These were more experienced Wikimedians that were stepping up to share their skills with their peers.

An evolved curriculum: Training of Trainers

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File:Wikimedia_Conference_2018_–_012.jpg () by Jason Krüger for Wikimedia Deutschland e.V., CC-BY-SA-4.0.
English: Wikimedia Conference 2018

Today,  our movement finds itself at an interesting turning point: we now observe multiple specialized skills within the movement and higher levels of expertise. How can we make room for experienced movement organizers? It is time to evolve our capacity development proposal to support these needs, too. This is why we developed Training of Trainers, an in-person training curriculum to develop Wikimedia movement organizers into skilled trainers within their home communities. This new curriculum seeks to increase capacity for structured, reflective, and effective training of learners, to improve understanding of and confidence in community members’ own role and style as trainers, and to create a global network of trainers who share knowledge and best practices. The goal is to develop community leaders into skilled trainers, that can share their skills with others, in order to scale the movement in a sustainable way.

The first implementation of this new curriculum took place at the Wikimedia Summit, a conference held in Berlin earlier this year. After the training, over 71% of participants increased their confidence in their mastery of all of the training’s core skills.

These outcomes encourage us to explore the possibilities of this new proposal even more, and we have been working to improve this curriculum in several areas. This is what we hope to offer at Wikimania 2019 in Stockholm: a combination of enhanced curriculums that can apply to a variety of  Wikimedians, and find better ways to collaborate. To participate, register to attend Wikimania, including the pre-conference days. Find more information and register by July 31st!

Originally posted on Wikimedia Foundation News by María Cruz on 2 July 2019


Wikimania 2019 Update

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Hi all,

After a couple of beautiful, sunny weeks of summer, the weather in Stockholm has changed to cold, grey and rainy. Fingers crossed that that means that weather in August during Wikimania will be beautiful and sunny again!

It’s not too many weeks left, and I hope the preparations for those of you who are coming are going well! We look forward to having you in Stockholm!

A couple of updates at this point:
You can still book hotel rooms at the Comfort Hotel Xpress Stockholm Central to a special discounted rate for another couple of days – last day 13 July. If you are interested in this option, don’t wait! On the accommodation page on the Wikimania wiki we have also listed some other possible alternatives, if you wish to find accommodation on your own.

The program is still under development, and you can follow the development on the wiki. We have however already published information on the welcome reception and the closing party. We are excited for these events, and hope you are so too! More information can be found here.

On the Thursday before the main conference starts, Wikimedia Sverige is arranging two culture crawls where you will be able to visit some of the best museums in Stockholm for free. If you wish to participate in those, check out the culture crawl site on the wiki! Don’t wait with signing up if interested: there is a limited amount of places!

There are also a number of other related activities happening during the week. Sign up for photo walks, museum tours and edit-a-thons with partners and friends.

Best,
Eric Luth
Conference Manager, Wikimedia Sverige